Top critical review
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Not quite the next-gen title we hoped for...
on November 17, 2007
Ok I've been reading up on all the five star reviews on this game and I'm sorry, It's just not as innovative and mesmerizing as most people are saying and certainly not as good as us gamers had hoped for. (there's alot to cover so sorry for the length of the review)
Let me start out by saying this is a good game. When I started playing as Alteir the assasin, I thought it was the most amazing thing ever just because the scale of the amazingly designed cities and towns. Just walking around and looking at the scenery and people is fun but unfortunately, after eight hours of gameplay, (which is where I am at) it truly fails to stay fresh, you start noticing alot of the games problems and glitches and at this point, I'm almost forcing myself to continue on.
After the game starts, you see the scale and technological advances this game carries, you walk around and anxiously wait to run the streets freely and start killing people. When I first rode into Damascus on a white horse by means of a beautiful mountain pass that I had to go through, i thought this had to be the greatest game ever. It looks so great and going to locations such as Jerusalem and Damascus is just awesome.
But unfortunately, the scenery just isn't enough. To start, one thing that really makes this game get old fast is that everytime you go to a city, you do the same routine over and over and over again: You sneak into a city, you find some really high towers or "view points" which fill up your map and shows you the places to go. You go to the assasin's headquarters (there's one in every city) and they give you tedious little quests you must do before you can assasinate a target.
Your regular routine of tedious objectives consists of pitpocketing guys for information, interrogation, which consists of finding your target, following him until he reaches a secluded spot, then punching him until he gives you what you want. You can also meet informants who give you little chores (such as killing guys and doing the same crap you already have to do for the assasin's headquarters) and in exchange for your hard work, they give you information so as you can see, everything you do is for information on your next target. These little quests get EXTREMELY old after hours and hours of gameplay. They really arent challenging, they don't change or get harder and are only really fun the first five times you do them. You do the same crap over and over and over again in every city. (and not to knock on the the awesome looking cities or aything but truth is, apart from some bigger buildings and smaller buildings, the cities don't look THAT much different.)
When walking the cities and doing your quests, of course you are challeneged by the city guards who are constantly on the lookout for you. You have some pretty cool weapons to take care of them, such as thowing knives, a sword ( the swordfighting looks really cool), and a cool sharp spike which you can pull out or retract from just under Alteir's left hand. This weapon is used for stealth kills. Of course you also have moves and counterattacks you get as you progress.
In the upper left hand corner of the screen, you have your health bar and little meter that changes color depending on the guards: White for the guards are "unaware", Yellow for "Suspicious" and Red for "alerted".... The meter is almost always yellow which means you are supposed to hold the X button and walk EXTREMELY slow until the meeter changes to white. When you actually do that, (which takes forever) all it takes is ten seconds and the meter goes back to yellow... So naturally you're always on yellow but the enemy AI is not the best. You can silently kill a guy with your spike right in front of a guard and although it is a "silent kill", the guy will scream and fall to the ground and the guards will walk right past... but if you're just walking on the street, they might get alerted for no evident reason.
Another low point, which is kind of funny to watch is the guards amazing ability to keep up with you which is really ridiculous. To get away, you can climb up walls, get to the top of tall buildings and very unrealistically jump across rooftops... and the guards will keep up with you... You are a trained assasin but regular guys in heavy armor will climb up walls and pursue you across the largest of rooftop jumps... Just as ridiculous, you can run from one side of the city to the other, the meter will stay red and you can try to blend in but the guards on the other side of the city somehow just know you are the guy being chased 1-2miles away on the other side of the city and they will attack you... Did they have radios during the crusades so people on the other side of the city could warn others of you presence? As for hiding from the guards, this I felt was another low point. The cities are huge but you really have only three spots to hide: hay stacks, little square garden houses on rooftops and if you are being chased, you can just sit down on a bench and the guards will run right past you and you will be safe... There are trees everywhere but you cant climb or hide in them. There are barrels, crates, doors and shops you think you would be able to jump into but no... you have to sit on the bench... There are no disguises or such froms of deception that you can use. The idea of vast and creative options is just absent.
Now for the actual assasinations. (sorry. i know this review is long) The assasinations, while still fail to remain something mouth-dropping and new do have a bit of newness to them. You have to assasinate nine specific guys in the game and each pose a different challenge. Now don't misunderstand, you are still doing the same crap to kill the nine guys as you would be doing to kill anyone else but without spoiling anything, you will find each main assasination a bit different from the last, followed by a cinemeatic while the target dies. After each assasination, you return to the boss and he gives you the next target.
Believe it or not, although this is a very mission based game, (you just get one mission after the next) it does have a bit of story in the mix. The main character can think for himself (but unfortunately has some of the worst voice acting i have ever heard) and there are other characters but there aren't really any other "real" characters. Sure there are guys that you speak to for a mission but there aren't any real new characters that pop up and the game just doesn't really have alot of character such as a game like Metal Gear beacuse the game just remains the same. But, without spoiling anything, there is a major story twist... which you actually discover at the beginning of the game... which is kinda weird but you can determine for yourself whether it's a good twist or a bad twist.
Finally, i have to include some of the horrible glitches i have come across. Are these glitches a cause of the ps3 or the game? I can't really say for sure but I'm pretty sure its the game for my ps3 has worked great with every other game. Whenever you pass a crowd of people on the streets, every once in a while, if you turn the camera around quickly to look back, the people will have ALL dissapeared randomely, then if you look back again, they will be back in place... This has happened to me the other way around as well. Ontop of that, while i'm ruinning around, my character has just frozen in midair. Now the game itself didn't freeze, just my character. It looked like something in the matrix. My character was in midair while everything else was moving and i had to restart my ps3. Weird.
In conclusion (finally, i know this is a long one) Assasin's creed is a good game and I am still enjoying it but this was supposed to be one of the greatest games of this generation and it could have been but the only thing that really makes this a cool game now, i beleive will be a common thing in all next gen gaming titles and in a year, this game won't be remembered as anything. Now the question is: should i trade in Assasin's Creed for Uncharted which comes out next week??